When there are many available loads, or few available trucks, the ratio goes up. Vice versa, when there are fewer loads and many available trucks, the ratio goes down. Generally, the ratio will be highest for flatbeds and lowest for vans due to the difficulty of finding the correct flatbed and the high availability of vans.
Why is the ratio important?
This number is important because it describes the balance between freight availability and truckload capacity. Changes to the ratio, which is refreshed often, generally signal a change in freight rates and a change in market conditions. The trends in the load-to-truck ratio have strongly correlated with spot market rate trends, showing that even though the ratio is not perfect, it is useful in providing timely information about the freight transportation market.
Current Load-to-Truck Ratio Data
The reefer load-to-truck ratio is up 57% for the week of June 3rd - June 9th. Reefer load posts jumped up 42% in the first full week after the Memorial Day holiday, but truck posts fell 9%, even with the extra business day. As a result, the national load-to-truck ratio for reefers jumped 57% from 9.4 to 14.7 loads per truck.
The flatbed load-to-truck ratio rose back over 100 after a three-week stretch below. Load posts increased 18% and truck posts increased 7%, causing the ratio to rise 10% to 109 loads per truck.
The van load-to-truck ratio also increased last week, up 35%. Truck posts only rose 2%, which pushed the load-to-truck ratio up 32% to 11.3 loads per truck.
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